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Return a SQL Server storing 100GB of data

I recently started working for a company that already had all its systems in place. The person who set up the SQL systems is no longer working here, so I have been dropped into the position with limited knowledge of SQL Server (Enterprise).

Our servers are all leased and it is time to return one of our SQL Servers, storing around 100GB of data. There are multiple databases, users, etc. From the research I've done, it seems to me like the best way is to set up a fail-over replication to make a copy of the server, then basically just pull the plug and change the server name so everything points to the new server. Will this work, or is there a better way to go about this task?

You could probably do a bare metal restore from a full system backup to a brand new server, but you need to make sure all of the drives are set up the same way so the pointers to database files work. A better approach would be to set up the new system one component at a time; this way you know exactly how things are set up.

I would install the operating system and SQL Server and then either do backups and restores or detach the database files, copy to the new server and then attach to the new server. You can also use features in Enterprise Manager to help migrate jobs, DTS packages, logins etc…

This way you will have the old and the new server to make sure things are working before you pull the plug. Once things are all set, you can rename the box.

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